Workers with communication skills are in high demand in Australia

Anthony Kwan/Getty
  • Australian jobs growth has been strong in recent years.
  • Job ads — seen as a lead indicator on hiring in the future — have started to fall in recent months.
  • Knowing what skills employers are looking for will be useful for candidates if competition for jobs begins to increase.
  • Over the past six months, nearly a third of all job advertisements listed communication skills as a prerequisite for candidates.

Australia has created plenty of jobs over the past few years, including 284,000 in the 12 months to February this year.

However, job advertisements — seen as a lead indicator for hiring — have started to fall recently, hinting the pace of jobs growth may start to slow in the months ahead.

Even with unemployment sitting below 5% for the first time since 2011, if hiring begins to slow, it means competition for jobs between candidates may also begin to increase.

In such an environment, it pays for job seekers to have an edge over other candidates.

This word cloud below, supplied by the Australia’s Department of Jobs and Small Business, may just do that.

Department of Jobs and Small Business

From its monthly Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) report, it shows the most common skills, including job tasks and required competencies, that were most requested by employers in job advertisements over the past six months.

Over this period, one particular skill stood out: communication skills.

According to the report, 31.3% of all advertisements requested communication skills as a requirement, near-triple the 11.8% and 11.6% proportion for teamwork/collaboration and planning respectively, the second and third-most requested skills over the same period.

Given so many employers and recruiters now use electronic scanning of CVs to choose which candidates they will interview, the word cloud provides a useful tool for anyone contemplating sprucing up their resume.

While not the only factor that could get your foot in the door, an understanding of what skills are currently in demand, with an appropriate adjustment to your resume, certainly won’t hurt your chances.

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